Beauty Bush
Kolkwitzia amabilis

Family: Caprifoliaceae (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info) (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Kolkwitzia (kol-KWIT-zee-uh) (Info)
Species: amabilis (a-MAH-bih-liss) (Info)
View this plant in a garden

Category:

Shrubs

Height:

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

Spacing:

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

Pink

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Foliage:

Deciduous

Smooth-Textured

Other details:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

,

Clovis, California

Wethersfield, Connecticut

Calhoun, Georgia

Lawrenceville, Georgia

Athol, Idaho

Chicago, Illinois

Waukegan, Illinois

Yorkville, Illinois

Harmony, Indiana

Logansport, Indiana

Iowa City, Iowa

West Branch, Iowa

Lindsborg, Kansas

Barbourville, Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Baltimore, Maryland

Brookeville, Maryland

Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Halifax, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Topsfield, Massachusetts

Okemos, Michigan

Florence, Mississippi

Seligman, Missouri

Springfield, Missouri

Polson, Montana

Lincoln, Nebraska

Iselin, New Jersey

Los Alamos, New Mexico

Bellmore, New York

North Olmsted, Ohio

Pataskala, Ohio

Portland, Oregon

Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

North Scituate, Rhode Island

Conway, South Carolina

Concrete, Washington

Midland, Washington

Port Angeles, Washington

Salem, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

17
positives
2
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Apr 20, 2015, reddravenn from Springfield, MO wrote:

I have two beauty bushes in my backyard that have been there for most of my life to my knowledge so my guess is about 40 years thinking when I was younger plants held little interest for me. They are beautiful bushes when in bloom they are stunning. I do need to cut back the old growth as they are like lilacs.

Neutral

On Jan 14, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

It is very similar to Honeysuckle shrubs of being twiggy and it gets almost as messy as they do. It has pretty flowers for about 10 days, but no fall color or pretty bark or pretty fruit. It has little ,if any value to beneficial wildlife of birds and others that visit the yard. Some forms have almost white flowers with only a hint of pink and others are very pink. This Chinese plant has not been commonly planted in landscapes in the eastern or Midwestern US; I just see one here and there infrequently. I am not aware of it escaping cultivation and becoming invasive.

Positive

On Oct 5, 2014, Emerogork from Wethersfield, CT wrote:

Now that I looked up, I guess it is not supposed to be surviving here in zone 4! It has been here for over 50 years and, yes, is a huge mass of bloom. It is about 15' tall.

Most of my plants have to perform beyond their original attraction though.

I bind it up and clip the lower branches and it stands up looking like a huge pineapple. Close in front of it I have a large bridal wreath. They blend in very well, one cascading over the other.

In front of this I have Lychnis jenny adding more pink at the base. Sorry, no pic available at the moment. Maybe in June....

Positive

On Jun 7, 2014, lilsmidge71 from Athol, ID wrote:

This is one of my favorite bushes. I grew it in my last yard and it was a show stopper. People literally stopped their cars and looked in my yard to see it. It smells like vanilla and blooms for almost 2 whole months. After 10 years I trimmed the dead stuff and it got even more gorgeous. In my new yard I have rocky clay soil and it grows with hardly any water in full sun out in the middle of nowhere and I currently have 14 of them. I like them on either side of pathways. They make an awesome tunnel over the pathway.

Positive

On Jun 2, 2014, pattipinetree from Kincardine, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

Until this year this plant has been an incredible asset to our garden. It is approximately 40 years old; height is 10 - 12 feet; about 25 feet in circumference. We had a very tough winter this year and have lost about 20% of the branches. Now that we are having warm weather some of the leaves which had appeared are withering and dying. Any solutions to save this beautiful bush? (We regularly prune at least 25% of the plant to keep it manageable and have cut all dead limbs already this year. It is also on a drip system.)

Neutral

On May 29, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Dirr says it's hardy in Z4.

This is an old-fashioned shrub. The flower display, though brief (2 weeks at most, here in Boston Z6), is undeniably beautiful. And it's a vigorous and adaptable shrub. Flowering is best in full sun.

It used to be very popular between the world wars, but it's a very big shrub (easily 10' x 10', sometimes reaching 15') that went out of fashion when yards got smaller after WWII. It blooms in mid-late May here, when the competition with other flowering shrubs is fierce.

Out of bloom, I find this shrub undistinguished. Fall color is an undistinguished yellow.

This shrub has a naturally graceful, broadly arching vase shape that's destroyed by attempts to hold it to a smaller size. When stems are cut part way... read more

Positive

On May 28, 2014, bobbieberecz from Concrete, WA wrote:

When I first saw this stunning bush smothered in flowers and towering to at least 15 feet, I was told by the owner that she thought it was a weigela. I spent a year looking for extra tall weigela to no avail. Meanwhile, I had planted a "beauty bush" that in it's youth looked woefully scraggly with branches flopping every which way. It was planted in morning sun and all afternoon shade. When it started blooming I recognized those shell pink flowers and my heart skipped a beat!! The owner of the original bush I saw gave me an off-shoot of her bush and it is taking off in full sun. The part shade plant is also growing rapidly but not as dense. At one point my friend was tired of the bush's enormity and cut it to the ground. That season it grew more than 10 feet in her rich soil! Both... read more

Positive

On Mar 13, 2013, hollyho from West Branch, IA wrote:

Found this dormant vase-shaped shrub when we moved into our house. I thought it was too close to the foundation so cut it all down early that spring. Later in spring it started new growth and amazed us with profuse light pink flowers, not un-like snapdragons. It has been a source of great pleasure for going on 30 years, its' upright, arching branches reaching 15+ feet and it has peeling paper-like bark that makes it interesting all year round.

Positive

On Jun 19, 2011, arcattle from Harmony, IN wrote:

The ice of winter finally killed my 4 yr old bush back to the ground this past February, but it has now spread to 5 feet wide (!) and is getting taller every day! Now I'm trying to figure how to get it out of the space it's outgrown! They birds do love the berries!

Positive

On Mar 12, 2009, Alchris from Edmonton, AB (Zone 3a) wrote:

This plant has survived 3 winters without protection in my Zone 3a garden. I started it from seed and it has grown to 30 inches tall. There are no flowers yet.

Positive

On Jan 2, 2009, pajaritomt from Los Alamos, NM (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have two of these plants, still quite young -- One is about 3 years old and blooms a bit, the other will be 2 years old this summer. But what impresses me is how easy they are to grow here. These have not had the best soil -- neutral to slightly alkaline, and very little organic matter and very sporadic watering. Yet both are growing nicely. Other examples in my area are stunning and mine show ever sign that they, too will be just as stunning some day.

Positive

On Jul 20, 2008, Overwhelmed from North Olmsted, OH wrote:

Our one shrub is over 20 years old, approximately 12 feet tall . It is in close proximity to 2 Black Walnut trees. When in bloom it is breathtaking and the scent wafts through the house since it is near a livingroom window. Wish it had a longer bloom period.

Positive

On Jun 17, 2008, taramark from (Zone 4a) wrote:

I have grown this beauty for over ten years in Zone 4.

From seed, even in year 2, it did was very hardy.

Positive

On Apr 20, 2008, jcangemi from Clovis, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Stunning in a large container here, in an area with some other unruly culprits in pots, i.e. bamboo. That probably is keeping the size down somewhat. Very minimal pruning just to keep it out of the pathway, and the bloom is outstanding. Winters over in container with no protection here in Zone 9, with typical winter temps of upper 20's to mid 30's.

Positive

On Jun 16, 2006, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

My Kolkiwitias are 3-4 years old started from seed. They haven't even flowered yet but I'm already impressed.

I planted them away from the house where the sun seems to get the hottest and the soil the driest and nothing phases it.

The foliage isn't at all unattractive and it's even evergreen in my zone.

Update May 20, 2007:

The plant I have in the front of the house in full sun has finally flowered and the flowers are gorgeous. They have a heavenly, sweet scent. The flowers are lasting pretty long too and show no sign of fading yet.

The bush I have in the backyard that gets a little bit of shade hasn't flowered.

This plant really holds up in hot and dry situations, humid and hot situations, soggy soil... read more

Positive

On Feb 5, 2006, andycdn from Ottawa, ON (Zone 5a) wrote:

This very striking shrub is borderline hardy in Ottawa, Canada (just 100 miles north of Lake Ontario). I've had some die-back some years, but it's very well established and grows to about 6x6 ft. here, in a sandy, somewhat acidic soil. Features long arching branches smothered in blooms for about 3 weeks in June. Smells like mothballs, so just feast your eyes and not your nose!

Positive

On Jun 4, 2005, DaylilySLP from Dearborn Heights, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

The height is listed as 4-6 foot. My son has 2 in his yard.
We don't know how old they are buy they are at least 12 feet high x 10 feet wide! This is in Michigan!
They are beautiful while in bloom.

Positive

On Jun 1, 2003, ToddNewbie from Troy, MI wrote:

We have 15'-20' tall beauty bushes growing next to our home and they more than live up to their name. Finches and small songbirds love to nest in them due to their complex branching. Can be used as a privacy screen. Pruning can be done if structure is desired but natural growth is more desirable especially if sun can get to the base of the plant. The more shade in the environment, the more unruly the branching seems to be.

Positive

On Jan 3, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

The breath-takingly beautiful flowers on this shrub make this highly garden-worthy if adequate space can be given. It grows tall and round, and should remain unpruned for best flowering effect. It may be difficult to locate sources for this shrub, however; it is not common in the trade.